I first became interested in growing carnivorous plants several years ago in 5th grade, when I first encountered the website Bug Biting Plants. Shortly afterwards, I found Peter D'Amato's Savage Garden at Barnes and Noble. His book introduced me to the large diversity of carnivorous plants and I became interested in growing them. Unfortunately, at that time, I didn't have the space needed to grow carnivorous plants in my home.
A few years later, in August 2016, I began my adventures with cultivating carnivorous plants. During a visit to Peter D'Amato's awesome carnivorous plant nursery, California Carnivores, I made my first purchase of four plants - Drosera capensis, Nepenthes "Gentle", Utricularia livida, and Pingicula agnata x (moranesis x ehlersiae). Once I got the plants home, I set up a terrarium.
Here is what I used:
- 20 gallon "tall" glass aquarium (Aqueon)
- Two foot, four bulb T5-HO grow light fixture (from Virtual Sun Hydroponics)
- Timer for the grow light fixture
- Wooden Blocks (to prop up my grow light)
- Fan (to cool the terrarium)
- Frozen water bottles (used to cool the terrarium during the night)
- Zero Water Filter (used to purify tap water)
- Plastic shoe bins (used as a water tray for the plants)
Eventually, I also added a shoe rack and an aquarium LED light to accommodate a second tier of plants (However, I later realized my plants did not receive enough light from the LED source).
Overall, this setup worked pretty well. The T5-HO plant light kept even the most finicky of my plants - my Drosera Spiralis- happy . The Zero Water filter also worked well and is much cheaper than a Reverse Osmosis Filter. The frozen water bottles were also able to keep my nepenthes and drosera spiralis sufficient cool at night.
If you are considering growing carnivorous plants, I'd definitely recommend giving them a try! They are definitely easier and cheaper to maintain compared to fish. I had a 55 gallon aquarium at one point, and for me growing these plants took up much less time compared to keeping up an aquarium. Propagation of most carnivorous plants is super easy and rewarding as well.